Sweepstakes marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to engage customers and grow your brand in 2024.
The Modern Guide to Sweepstakes Marketing
It’s 2024 and sweepstakes are in.
Sweepstakes are opportunities for shoppers to enter giveaways for a chance to win an assortment of prizes, from cash and beauty products to cars, cruises, and even fully furnished homes! They’re fun and engaging — participants fill out a quick entry form, follow campaign rules, and wait to see who wins.
With low barriers to entry and extensive reach, there’s no doubt that sweepstakes can do wonders for brand growth. But many brands are missing out.
Our team has seen firsthand just how effective sweepstakes campaigns can be in engaging one’s prospective and existing customers, capturing first-party data, and driving traffic. Read on to learn more about the benefits of sweepstakes marketing, examples of well-executed campaigns from brands like Feastables, and some best practices for your brand’s next campaign.
The benefits of sweepstakes marketing
Brands and retailers like Sephora, Pepsi, and Starbucks have long recognized the benefits of sweepstakes marketing. Their campaigns encourage users to interact with the brand on various platforms, and they go a long way in driving engagement, building community, and ultimately strengthening brand-consumer relationships.
There are numerous benefits that come with sweepstakes marketing:
- First-party data collection. Sweepstakes often require participants to provide basic contact information to enter the giveaway. Brands can choose how much information to collect, from email addresses and phone numbers to quick questions about the brand or product. Customers are generally willing to provide these details upon entry, making sweepstakes an effective way for brands to build a database of leads for future communications.
- Increased brand awareness. The main attraction of sweepstakes is the prizes, which are usually the brand’s own products. Customers are curious and excited about what they might win, and they are likely to share sweepstakes information with friends and family. Sweepstakes also give brands an opportunity to interact with customers in a fun setting.
- Cost-effective marketing. When it comes to marketing, rising CAC poses a major challenge for DTC brands, forcing them to diversify sales and marketing channels. Compared to advertisements, sweepstakes allow brands to easily capture consumer attention without necessarily expending a large budget.
- Social media growth. One common part of sweepstakes is interacting with the brand on social media as part of the campaign entry rules. This could mean liking and following brand posts, tagging friends in the comments, or sharing the sweepstakes campaign on individual stories. Such word of mouth marketing can quickly lead to an increased social media following, further promoting the brand and its products to new audiences.
Examples of effective sweepstakes campaigns
A quick Google search will return an endless list of sweepstakes. There’s even a website that regularly adds sweepstakes and organizes them by entry limit, prize, and deadline. But some campaigns are more successful than others when it comes to generating consumer engagement and buzz.
Let’s take a look at some examples of sweepstakes campaigns and what made them effective:
Imagine winning a sweepstakes and being hand-delivered a Tesla — that’s part of the Feastables sweepstakes experience.
Feastables is a snack brand from Mr. Beast, the #1 creator on Youtube with nearly 230 million subscribers. With over 1.3 million followers on Instagram, Feastables has built a large social media presence and engaged community. Part of that success comes from the brand’s expertise and creativity in hosting sweepstakes.
Feastables hosts multiple sweepstakes throughout the year that align with holidays and shopping events like Halloween, Black Friday, and Christmas (“12 Days of Feastmas”).
Shoppers don’t need to purchase Feastables products to enter, but they’re also able to easily enter whenever they make a purchase online or in stores. Every Feastables product has a QR code, which customers can scan to enter sweepstakes. And the prizes are impressive, ranging from $10,000 cash prizes and Feastables care packages to Teslas.
Earlier last year, we spoke with their head of customer experience, Jess Cervellon, on the Omnichannel Marketer and talked about the role of sweepstakes in Feastables’ marketing strategy.
“People come to our brand because they like giveaways,” Jess said. “A lot of our brand is built on that gamification.”
One of their sweepstakes involved giving away 10 Teslas. Jess described flying across the country and personally driving the cars to winners’ homes.
“What was so amazing about that experience was that it’s a brand experience,” she said. “It’s a winner experience and it’s a customer experience.”
What’s unique about Feastables’ approach to sweepstakes is ultimately the dedication to a great customer experience and the alignment of campaigns to brand values and image. By combining sweepstakes with QR codes, Feastables is also able to widen accessibility and provide a gamified experience to customers.
Sephora is well-known for its sweepstakes campaigns, which are hosted by its Beauty Insider program. The retailer has built a vibrant community with Beauty Insider and has used sweepstakes to further drive engagement and product awareness.
There is a dedicated thread on the Sephora Community website for sweepstakes winner announcements. Prizes include Sephora gift cards, cash prizes, and trips.
Sephora’s sweepstakes campaigns invite shoppers to share something related to beauty. One Halloween campaign required participants to upload their Halloween looks to the thread; another campaign invited participants to share which skincare products they wanted to try and why. Sephora’s approach appeals to its audience, who are excited about trying out new products and sharing their own experiences.
Starbucks has been running its Starbucks for Life campaign during the holiday season for the past 10 years. Participants can either make a purchase or watch videos/take a survey to win game plays and sweepstakes entries. Prizes include daily credit for Starbucks for 30 years, bonus stars, gift cards, and more.
Starbucks’ campaign provides a highly gamified experience, such as shaking a digital snow globe to obtain free game plays. It’s also appealing because there are several possible rewards — some of the prizes even have tens of thousands of possible winners.
Best Practices for Sweepstakes Marketing
The advantages of increased brand awareness and rapid growth can be a double-edged sword, which means that sweepstakes campaigns need to be well-planned and well-executed. While setting up a sweepstakes campaign only involves a few steps, here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Choose an attractive prize. High-quality prizes drive excitement around the sweepstakes. While they don’t have to be super fancy, they should align with the brand and provide value for customers.
- Dedicate a landing page. Having a dedicated landing page for the sweepstakes makes it easier for customers to find everything they need to know about the entry process, rules, and winners announcement. This can also drive website traffic and expose shoppers to other products.
- Simplify the entry process. When it comes to conversion, a frictionless experience is everything. Make it easy for customers to provide their contact details.
- Know the legal requirements. There are several laws and regulations that govern sweepstakes. For example, brands cannot require customers to make a purchase in order to enter a sweepstakes. Brands also need to disclose eligibility requirements, sweepstakes time frames, and the selection and notification process of winners.
- Promote across multiple channels. The promotional period is equally as important as the set-up stage. Promote the sweepstakes across your website, email list, and social media channels, and don’t forget to send reminder emails leading up to the sweepstakes end date.
Creating Sweepstakes Campaigns with Brij
Lastly, with the sheer number of sweepstakes, brands can make their sweepstakes campaigns more engaging and higher-converting with the help of QR code experiences. As we saw, every Feastables product had a Brij QR code on the back, making it easier for shoppers to enter their sweepstakes.
And the advantages don’t stop there — the key is the ease of activation across digital and physical channels. Customers that shop in store can easily access a brand’s website by scanning the product or in-store display QR code. Engagement can mean entering sweepstakes, submitting feedback, or creating an account.
Brij is helping more and more trend-setting brands do this every day. If that sounds like something your brand wants to do, drop us a line any time. Even if it's just to talk about how to get started. Book a time here.